In 1991 there were only three dental programs in Chile: Universidad de Chile (1911), Universidad de Concepción (1919) and Universidad de Valparaíso (1955, as campus of U. de Chile). Currently, there are 21 universities that teach a total of 32 dental programs, graduating approximately 1500 new professionals each year, which, in addition to increasing the number of dentists in our system, raises the question as to how many students are in training, and what is the admission profile established by these institutions. The aim of this article is to know the number of admissions, registration, financing, and university accreditation process, based on the number of qualified professionals working in our system, in order to reflect the current situation of dentistry in Chile. A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out based on the review of the public statistical resources. Despite the high cost of the program, associated with the implementation and materials, the program has many applicants. The number of enrolled students each year in the first semester is around 2200. Therefore, a high number of students are currently enrolled in all semesters, totalling approximately 14,300 in 2019. The Chilean government should address this problem based on information about the real need for healthcare of the population, within the framework of the public and private health system to support a certain number of professionals. The opening of new dental programs is viewed as a problem, while the country is advancing slowly in a regulation that is urgently required.
KEY WORDS: dental program, education, accreditation, employability, labor oversupply.
How to cite this article
ARELLANO-VILLALÓN, M. & FUENTES, R. From admission to professional practice, A review of dental programs in Chile. Int. J. Odontostomat., 14(4):623-631, 2020.